Royal Academy of Arts, London

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Luckily I managed to visit this two-month long exhibition that included over 1200 artworks, most of which were for sale. Some of the prices were very spicy.

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It was fun walking around the gallery space with the booklet of every artwork and their price. One of the most expensive artworks for sale cost over  £285 000.

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It was really wonderful to see so much contemporary art and to be moved by it.

Here is a selection of some of my favourite pieces from the exhibition:

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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, V&A London

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Victoria & Albert Museum is currently exhibiting the incredible artistic legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga. There are more than 100 pieces on display that showcase the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century.

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The exhibition is actually the 100th anniversary celebration of the opening of Balenciaga’s fashion house in Spain. Among the stunning dresses and jackets, you can also see shoes and hats.

This exhibition was my main reason for visiting London, which says a lot about my love for the fashion of Balenciaga. There is such poetry in his designs, complex technical construction that looks so simple to make, but only at a first glance.

So many of his designs feel fresh and modern even today, and that is why he has been such a long-lasting influence in fashion.

He was one of the few designers who designed everything himself, and going behind the genius of his construction and idea is very inspirational. The exhibition has x-rays of dress constructions, videos of runway shows, beading, and sewing patterns.

My favourite exhibition pieces were the dresses which were spinning inside the glass boxes, where you could get a sense of how dramatic and sculptural his designs were.

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The second part of the exhibition are designs of modern designers that have been inspired by Balenciaga. It is a lovely exhibition space with some of the craziest fashion designs I’ve seen in a long time.

 

The exhibition is open until February 18, 2018 and definitely have a look if you find yourself in London. You will be inspired!

 

Diana: Her Fashion Story, London

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In the year when we are commemorating the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing, in her former home there is an exhibition of her fashion, for which she was very much distinguished.

Being only 10 years old when she passed, I was not aware of her so much, especially not why she was beloved by so many people. Recently I watched a new documentary featuring her sons, called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, a very moving piece of television from which I found out many wonderful things about the Princess and it kind of broke my heart that she was only 36.

This exhibition is located in 6 smaller rooms on the upper floor of the Palace, and it traces her style evolution. You can see some of the most iconic pieces she wore, and photos to remind you of the occasions she wore them in.

For someone who was in the spotlight so much, she commanded and spoke through her choices of clothes so well that it has become one of the reasons we remember her so vividly.

It is an exhibition worth visiting, especially if you are fond of fashion and its history.

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After you exit the building, visit the memorial garden called the White Garden. It is a beautiful piece of garden design.

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Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, Berlin

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Exhibition Surreal Worlds is currently open at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg Museum, which is located across from the Charlottenburg Palace.

The focus of the exhibition is on Jean Dubuffet, French paintor and sculptor who founded the Art Brut movement.

It is a short but nonetheless an interesting exhibition of mostly paintings, including a Giacometti sculpture too.

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Since I haven’t learnt about the Art Brut movement much, but am a fan of surrealism, it was a nice introduction into the world that is between the two movements.

I recommend the exhibition to art lovers that have half an hour to spare in observing distorted figures that could bring a smile to your face.

 

Bröhan Museum, Berlin

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Exhibition Kiss. From Rodin to Bob Dylan is another stellar offering from the Bröhan Museum. It explores the meaning of kiss through many different art forms and covers the period from the late 19th century onward.

Through the exhibition you can see the political and social meanings of the act, as it also covers subjects of identity and feminism. Some of the artists on display include Bob Dylan, Edvard Munch, Cornelia Schleime, and Marina Abramović.

It is open until October 3rd and every first Wednesday of the month the entrance is FREE so definitely have a look if you find yourself around the Charlottenburg area, or plan ahead even.

IMG_0034Cornelia Schleime

img_00271.jpgMarina Abramović

IMG_0028Bob Dylan

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Sofia City Art Gallery

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The last museum space from my Bulgarian trip is the city gallery. It is one of the most important cultural places of the capital. The gallery only opened in its current location in 1977.

The exhibition Viva Italia! was nearly over when I visited, but it was one of the most colourful and diverse exhibitions I have seen in a while.

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the national art gallery + the ethnographic museum, sofia

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Both museums are located in Sofia Palace dating back to the 19th century. It is a Turkish administrative building that was remodeled into a palace. It has been a heritage site since 1978.

Even though the exhibitions that I saw are not active anymore, the building itself is a very interesting space to explore.

I was one of the few visitors that day, but perhaps everyone was preparing for the exhibition opening that night – The Highlights of Croatian Art – 20th and 21st century. They simply must have known that I would be in town that day to see my people’s art.

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As soon as you walk into the building you notice the beautiful glass windows in the staircase.

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On the ground floor was an excellent exhibition of B&W photography by the family Karastoyanovs. It was a great introduction to Bulgarian history and folklore, with a big focus on the destruction of war. There was also a short documentary about the family and its most prominent members.

Upper floor was designated for paintings and a few modern installations in the most lavish space of the entire building.

Across the hall is the entrance to a small collection of the Ethnographic Museum. Unfortunately a lot of the artifacts got destroyed in the fire during the Second World War.

From all the things on display I was mostly excited about the clothes, its craftsmanship and the meaning behind its elements.

For anyone not familiar with Balkan traditions, it would be a nice little introduction to visit this museum.

City Gallery of Fine Arts, Plovdiv

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This lovely gallery is situated in a cobbled street uphill from the city centre, and when you pass these gates you can feel a wave of calm while walking up the stairs to the entrance.

Me and my dear friend were the only people inside the gallery and it was nice having the whole space to ourselves, to roam around in silence.

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The gallery has three floors of exhibition space and it displays mostly paintings and sculptures.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

 

Museum of Totalitarian Art, Sofia

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While researching museum offerings in Sofia, I read some great reviews of this museum and decided to pay a visit, especially because it is so specific and unusual.

Already in the courtyard it felt like I was entering a land of towering concrete and bronze figures from a bygone era, but it  somehow seemed familiar as well.

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A pair of Lenins

Inner part of the museum provided a much needed cooling down from the hot Bulgarian sun. The exhibition space is rather cohesive, showcasing totalitarian art through different themes and art techniques.

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Some of my favourite were black-and-white paintings of suffering.

Not only were there artworks expressing what life was under these regimes, but there was also historic video footage in the little separate building that is used as the gift shop. The footage showed Sofia during the communist regime.

I highly recommend visiting this museum, it was one of my favourite in Sofia.

 

 

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

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One of the coolest museums in Berlin, so vast I regularly get lost in its hallways.

The building, as its name would suggest, used to serve as one of the oldest train stations in Germany. It was built in 1846 and it is the only train station in Berlin remaining from that time. Because of increasing traffic, it had to close its doors in 1884. Now it serves as the Museum for Contemporary Art.

It currently displays my favourite exhibitions in all of Berlin, and I highly recommend you to visit, because not only will you be enchanted by the art, but by the building itself, especially the grand hall.

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Walking around I stumbled upon some famous names: Warhol, Rauschenberg and Lichtenstein.

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Another great exhibition is the retrospective of German sculptor Rudolf Belling. It displays about 80 items from 1920s to 1960s. His work ranged from stage and costume design all the way to fountains and monuments. What comes across in his work is the use of empty space as a compositional element.

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Another brilliant exhibition currently on is called Moving is in every direction. It traces the history of installation art from the 1960s until today. It is not setup chronologically so it is a full surprise as you walk from one exhibition room to another. I have captured some of my personal highlights.

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